PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. - After 40 years of friendship, three local couples - who were all married within three months of each other 65 years ago - recently celebrated their milestone anniversaries together.

John and Carol Archambo, Bob and Wanda McKee, and Ray and Sally Steffens - all neighbors on Lower Hay Lake - gathered with their friends and family for a special Mass Thursday, July 20, at St. Alice Catholic Church in Pequot Lakes to commemorate their 65th wedding anniversaries.

The friends said it was unbelievable to be able to celebrate together - again. Five years ago, they gathered in the same fashion for their 60th anniversaries and hope to keep the tradition going as long as they can.

Along with a combined 195 years of marriage, the three couples have a combined 15 children, 22 grandchildren and countless memories among them. And none of them could have done it alone.

"We keep track of each other by binoculars across the lake," Ray Steffens joked.

But the real key, they said, to their long, happy marriages, is good communication and, most importantly, looking to God.

"You have to have the Lord the head of your household to make it this long," Carol Archambo said.

"And faith as a lot to do with it," Bob McKee added. "We're very blessed, all of us."